National News

Nursing levels ‘unsafe’

NURSING unions last week warned that staffing on the wards of many of Britain’s hospitals is regularly falling to unsafe levels.

Nearly 90 per cent of nursing staff interviewed for a survey that was published on Monday by the Royal College of Nursing said that staffing levels were not always adequate to provide safe patient care, with almost a third saying they were rarely or never safe. More than 8,000 RCN members responded to the survey.

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Free NHS treatment at risk

PROFESSOR Malcolm Grant, head of the National Health Service, warned last week that introducing charges for health service treatment was a possibility if the economy does not recover.

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Another humiliation for EDL at Brighton

by New Worker correspondent

THE WARM spring sunshine shone down on the peaceful sparkling sea as thousands of anti-fascists came out on to the streets of Brighton — the majority of them local residents — to once again deliver a message to the Islamophobic English Defence League that it was unwelcome in Brighton.

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Met still institutionally racist

THE METROPOLITAN Black Police Association (BPA) last week claimed that, 20 years after the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in Eltham, south London, the Metropolitan Police force is still institutionally racist.

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Teachers condemn Gove’s longer school hours idea

THE TORY’S hard rightwing Education Secretary, Michael Gove, last week upset teachers again — and probably millions of schoolchildren who do not have a voice in politics — when he suggested longer school hours and shorter school holidays as a way to improve educational standards.

Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary, of the National Union of Teachers, responded:

“Michael Gove’s support for an extended school day and shorter school summer holidays does not stand up to scrutiny.

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PCS calls on Lords to save equality

THE CIVIL service union PCS last week called on peers to save key equality legislation brought in after the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in a vote that fell on the 20th anniversary of his death.

The House of Lords will vote on Monday 22nd April on whether to repeal section three of the Equality Act 2006 via a clause in the Government’s enterprise and regulatory reform bill.

The section, known as the general equality duty aims to ensure equality of opportunity in society and is a legacy of the Macpherson report.

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Shaker Aamer may never come home

SHAKER AAMER, the last British detainee still held without charge or trial for more than 11 years now, may never return home, even though he was cleared for release in 2007.

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Met police find they killed Blair Peach — probably

A METROPOLITAN Police report released 30 years after Blair Peach’s death finds that he was most likely killed by an elite riot squad officer.

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Army recruitment at 16‘should stop’

THE ARMY should stop recruiting boy soldiers, according to a campaigning group that finds the practice is against international human rights agreements — and it is a drain on expenses because so many drop out.

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TUC backs post workers

FRANCES O’GRADY, the TUC general secretary last week warned that privatising the Royal Mail would be a “disaster” for the country as she addressed Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) annual conference in Bournemouth last week.

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Ballot at Carling plant goes ahead

EMPLOYEES at Molson Coors in Burton-on- Trent are being balloted on strike action, as the 455-strong workforce face being sacked after 14th June and reinstated on inferior pay and conditions.

The giant union Unite said its members would be asked to vote for strike action in the dispute over the management’s package of proposals which includes axing the wages of 184 brewery technicians and 41 operatives by up to £9,000-a-year.

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London meeting marks birthday of Kim Il Sung

by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS and supporters of Democratic Korea met last weekend near Kings Cross in central London to mark the birthday of revolutionary leader and theorist Kim Il Sung and hold a wide-ranging discussion on the crisis sparked by the ongoing US exercises and the controversial Korea Undercover BBC Panorama documentary.

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Sinn Féin marks the Good Friday Agreement in London

by Theo Russell

SINN FéIN MPs Michelle Gildernew and Conor Murphy visited London last week for a highly successful, and sold out, dinner at the Troia restaurant near the London Eye organised by Friends of Sinn Féin to mark the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The event was shared by many international friends, including the Cuban Ambassador and representatives from the Venezuelan Embassy, the Kurdish National Congress, the Basque nationalist Eusko Alkartasuna party, the Wolfe Tone Society and the Connolly Association.

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International News

Russia pays homage to Lenin on 143rd anniversary of his birth

by Xelcis Presno

The President of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, praised the life and work of Vladimir I Lenin, in memory of the leader of the world’s first socialist revolution.

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French Embassy in Libya attacked

by Ed Newman

A car bomb has exploded outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, wounding two French guards and several residents. The blast in Tripoli destroyed the embassy’s ground floor reception area and perimeter wall, as well as damaging neighbouring homes and shops.

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Britain and Syria

by Rob Gowland AS I WRITE this, the ruling class in Britain has just finished burying Margaret Thatcher at a cost to the public purse of a mere £10 million. Apparently Maggie had planned the funeral herself, presumably not trusting her former colleagues to do it with sufficient pomp, certainly not enough to suit her enormous ego.

So, not too long after Daniel Gauntlett, a homeless man of 35 froze to death outside an empty but boarded up house in Aylesford, because the police had warned him not to try to sneak inside to get out of the cold, British authorities spent £10 million on putting Maggie Thatcher’s body in a nice big vault.

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Young Cubans: new options on the horizon

by Luisa María Gonzalez

YOUNG people are sometimes criticised with stereotyped descriptions, like “problematic” or “lost” but youth is definitely a stage of life in which many people decide what kind of relationship they will have with society in the present and future, and this is a process that is influenced to a good extent by circumstance.

How am I going to earn a living? Will I study to become a professional or enter the labour market early on and take the first opportunity that presents itself? If I attend university, what degree will I seek?

These are questions whose answers determine what paths our lives will take, and they also depend on existing possibilities. In Cuba, young people have a whole number of new options on their horizon. In the past, employment was associated exclusively with state jobs, but with the updating of the Cuban economy that is now underway, jobs can be had in the nonstate or private sector, in self-employment.

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CIA’s criminal actions increased after 9/11

by Prashanth Kamalakanthan

CREATED in 1947 as a successor to the espionage agency born during World War II for use against the US’s imperialist rivals — Japan and Germany — the Central Intelligence Agency rapidly developed into an international arm of repression for US imperialism against the World’s working-class and liberation movements. It especially targeted the Soviet Union, People’s China and the socialist camp during the Cold War.

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Chris Hani remembered

by Abayomi Azikiwe

ON 10TH APRIL 1993, racists in South Africa killed Chris Hani, the general secretary of the South African Communist Party and commander of Um Khonto we Sizwe (MK — “Spear of the Nation”), the military wing of the African National Congress. Hani went out for a morning run and was heading back home when Polish immigrant Janusz Walus approached him, saying he wanted to ask the leader a question. Soon Hani was shot dead, right outside his front door.

The people of South Africa were shocked and outraged at this attempt to derail the negotiation process between the ANC and the ruling Nationalist Party, then headed by President FW de Klerk.

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